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MTA makes changes to Metro-North schedules

12 News Westchester County logo 12 News Westchester County 3/27/2020
a person waiting for a train at a train station © Provided by 12 News Hudson Valley

The MTA is making scheduling and service changes in response to the coronavirus.

MTA officials say they are running to provide service to first responders, health care workers and other essential workers, but everyone else should stay home.

 

They say they are making changes to service because there has been a significant drop in ridership due to the COVID-19 crisis, and to protect the health and safety of customers and MTA employees.

MTA officials say ridership is down more than 90 %, due to the coronavirus pandemic so they've put together what they call the Essential Service Plan. 

Starting today, the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven lines will have additional trains in the morning and afternoon peak periods during the week. Then it will be hourly service during off-peak, midday, and evening hours.

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This weekend there will be a regular schedule, but there will be no weekend train service on the Wassaic Branch, and there will be no substitute bus service.

Then, starting next weekend, all weekend service on the main lines of the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines will only be on an hourly basis and that goes until further notice.

West of Hudson service is operating on a weekend schedule until further notice.

While operating what they call the MTA Essential Service Plan, off-peak fares will be in effect on the Metro-North.

All Metro-North ticket counters are closed. And cash is no longer accepted on board trains. They say you can still use cash at ticket vending machines. They are doing this to help minimize direct contact for everyone in the system.

The new schedule means the elimination of nearly 300 trains, which are just about empty these days.

The new plan calls for extra trains during peak morning commuting hours for first responders and health care workers, but services will be cut back throughout the rest of the day.

"The cars have been very empty. I've been two or three seats away, full benches away from everybody else," says Daniel Sizemore, of White Plains.

They have also made changes to the bus and subway schedules. Customers should check the new times online before traveling.

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